Posted on September 18, 2017
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, has said submission of the 2018 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly in October remains sacrosanct.
Senator Enang gave the assurance when he appeared at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum, in Abuja, at the weekend and reiterated that the Federal Government is committed to the deadline.
He disclosed that government is working assiduously to ensure that the deadline is complied with, to take the country back to the annual budget cycle of January to December.
The presidential aide also disclosed that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have made their budget inputs and submissions to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
“The ministers are already appearing before the ministry and defending their submissions. It is that, in the next few days, they would have completed the exercise and have the budget as well as get ready with the final draft. Everything is being done to ensure that we keep to the date.”
He added that in presenting the 2018 proposal in October, “the national assembly will consider it between October and November and by December, it would have been passed. The current budget will end in 12 months and having been signed on June 12, 2016, the budget is legally to run between June 12, 2017 and June 12, 2018. But, the intention of government is to make sure that the implementation date and assent will be for January 1, 2018 so that we will return the budget to the conventional January.’’
Enang also said that the national assembly is committed to doing its bit to ensure that the budget is passed in time after presentation by the Executive.
“This was a negotiated position between the executive and the Legislature and, in fact, the legislature is more anxious to get the budget passed by December and assented to, in January.
“It is what was discussed and agreed and we are working together; there is harmony and there is understanding and unison on this subject. There is no matter that will frustrate this because all things were taken into account at arriving at this decision,’’ he said.
Examining the 2016 budget performance, the presidential aide said government recorded some constraints in the execution of capital projects.
He said: “We made it clear that most of the funds for capital projects will come from borrowing and, if it has to come from external sources, it will have to be approved by the national assembly. If the national assembly approves the borrowing and the international agency from which you intend to borrow the money did not release the money, you cannot release it for capital projects.”